What is the Water Quality in Petaluma, California?
Compared to other US cities, Petaluma water quality ranks in the high range for contamination excluding Lead.
Most of their 29 contaminants have cancer-causing attributes.
- Arsenic is at extremely high levels: 535x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5) are at extremely high levels: 83x health guidelines.
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9) are at extremely high levels: 158x health guidelines.
- HAA5 and HAA9 are byproducts of chlorine treatment, a common method of disinfecting water supplies.
Let’s look closer at what’s in Petaluma water.
What’s in Petaluma water?
Here are the top 5 chemical compounds in your water and what health issues they can potentially cause:
- Arsenic – Potential effect: Cancer
- Chloroform – Potential effect: Cancer
- Hexavalent Chromium – Potential effect: Cancer
- Haloacetic acids (HAA5 and HAA9) – Potential effect: Cancer
- Total trihalomethanes – Potential effect: Cancer
These are five of the 29 contaminants analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).
13 of these contaminants are rated as exceeding EWG Health Guidelines.
Does Petaluma have Lead contamination?
No, Petaluma does not currently have lead in its water. The most recent Lead samples collected from 2015 through 2017 showed concentrations of 0.0 parts per billion (ppb).
The legal limit for lead is 15 parts per billion. Being well-below this level is a good thing.
- Concentrations between 3.8 ppb and 15 ppb put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels. Read more about the symptoms of Lead in water.
There is no safe level of lead for humans.
- The good news is that 99.99% of the lead can be filtered out.
See the What Can You Do? section below to learn how to filter out contaminants.
Where does Petaluma’s water come from?
Petaluma’s water comes from the Burdell Mountain – Frontal San Pablo Bay Estuaries watershed.
There are No waterbodies assessed in the Burdell Mountain – Frontal San Pablo Bay Estuaries watershed.
Ideally, a water source would be Known and rated in Good condition.
Whether a water source is in Impaired or Good condition refers to the quality of three uses:
- Aquatic Life
- Fish and Shellfish Consumption
Learn more from How’s My Waterway
See below for what you can do to improve Petaluma’s water.
Conclusion – What Can You Do?
Information about water quality in Petaluma can be surprising.
But there’s no reason to lose hope. There are things you can do in your home as well as things you can do at a community level.
- Use Berkey filters with activated carbon to filter out at least 87% of contaminants in your drinking water. (Berkey Light and Travel Berkey are the only types available in California.)
- To filter out 25 of the 29 contaminants in your whole house, consider a Reverse Osmosis Pentair water filtration system for your home.
- These are more expensive than pitchers to purchase, but are more effective.
- They have the benefit of filtering out heavy hitters like:
*Chlorination is an effective method of disinfecting/treating drinking water. You can then use a water filter to reduce the effects of chlorination byproducts to get the safest, cleanest water possible.
In Your Community:
Contact your local government officials and put pressure on them to invest in cleaner waterways and upgraded city water filtration and treatment.
Go to: https://cityofpetaluma.org/ to find contact information for your local officials.